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AUTHOR: TITLE

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Golightly, Aubrey Microteaching to Assist Geography Teacher-Trainees in

Facilitating Learner-Centered Instruction SOURCE: Journal of Geography 109 no6 233-42 N/D 2010

COPYRIGHT: The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited. To contact the publisher: http://www.ncge.org/index.html ABSTRACT This article reports the findings of a case study where microteaching was implemented to assist geography teacher-trainees in the planning, design, and implementation of learner-centered instruction in the classroom. The data were collected via questionnaires completed by B.Ed. Geography teacher-trainees (n = 24); structured interviews with some of the trainees (n = 8); and a comparison of trainees' (n = 8) planned learning activities for practical teaching lessons before and after microteaching. Results indicate that, after the microteaching sessions, trainees were more inclined to plan, design, and implement learnercentered instruction during geography learning experiences.

Key Words: microteaching, geography education, instruction, teacher training INTRODUCTION The implementation of outcomes-based education (OBE) in South African schools during 1997 emphasized and supported the move from teachercentered to learner-centered instruction in the school classroom and at all higher education institutions (South Africa Department of Education 2003). Pertaining to education in general, Kain (2003) explains that the implementation of learner-centered instructional approaches necessitates the sharing of constructed knowledge while learning is achieved through learners' active engagement in various activities. In this light and after twelve years of OBE in South African classrooms, it is natural to assume that teachers are by now proficient with the implementation of learner-centered instructional approaches and teaching styles in their lesson planning. Research indicates the contrary. In the review of the literature it is evident that most teachers in South Africa

still use direct teacher-centered instruction in their classroom. Mphaphuli and Luneta (1997) state that traditional geography instruction in South Africa has been primarily theoretical, using methods based on memorization and repetition of facts. In light of their findings they suggest that South African teachers need compulsory exposure to the wider spectrum of learner-centered instructional strategies. More recent research clearly indicates that in most South African classes the teacher is still proclaimed as the authority in the classroom, the sole provider of information, and also the person who is the summative assessor of learners' work (Rambuda and Fraser 2004; Gr6sser and De Waal 2006; Beets 2007; De Waal and Gr6sser 2009). Consequently, the example set by mentors for geography trainees during practical teaching at schools as well as the comments made by mentors on trainees' lesson presentations, in most cases do not support or encourage trainees to implement learner-centered instruction in geography classrooms. The natural conclusion is that geography educators at the tertiary level should use microteaching to help foster the implementation of learner-centered instruction in geography classrooms. Cruickshank and Metcalfe (1993,87) define microteaching as a "scaled down teaching encounter in which preservice teachers demonstrate their ability to perform one of several desirable teacher abilities to a group of three to five peers during a short period of time." The purpose of this article is to determine if the implementation of microteaching in the training model of B.Ed. Geography teacher-trainees at the North West University (Potchefstroom campus) can assist teacher-trainees with the successful planning, implementation, and presentation of learner-centered instruction in the geography classroom. LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

Outcomes-based education(FN1) in South Africa emphasizes learnercentered education (South Africa Department of Education 1997) that, according to Van Harmelen (1999) and Claassen (1998), was based on the social constructivist approach to teaching and learning. The OBE curriculum, as described in the publication from Lubisi et al. (1997), namely Understanding Outcomes-based Education: Knowledge, Curriculum and Assessment, defines a learner-centered instructional approach as the development of learning

but it does emphasize that the best way for learners to attain and understand (and eventually apply) this knowledge is to "put it into a larger.programs and materials that favors the learners. Grasha (1996. In the first model--the transmission-reception model--the learner is perceived as an empty organism waiting to be "filled" with knowledge. For the purpose of this study the focus will be on the teaching models developed by Tolley and Reynolds to emphasize practices such as active learning by and collaboration among learners in geography education. In geography education reference is made to the three general teaching and learning styles. behavior-shaping. The classroom is designed in a formal way to facilitate the transmission of information from the . A teaching style refers to a combination of teaching methods and techniques that a teacher prefers to implement in the classroom. and Vreken 2006). organize. discovering. but is also inherent to the teacher's personality and influences the choice of instructional approaches. and the interactionist models as identified by Tolley and Reynolds (cited in Lambert and Balderstone 2003). Learnercentered classroom practices engage students in activities that require reasoning. problem-solving. a teaching style may also be described as a pervasive quality that plays an important role in several aspects of our teaching. 180). Roberts (in Balderstone 2002) also developed a model that gives an overview of the broad styles of teaching and learning in geography education (Fig. analyze and problem solve" (Borich and Tombari 1997. data gathering. A constructivist view of knowledge and learning proposes that learners should be active independent thinkers and should therefore critically examine the procedures of knowledge construction. 1). McChlery. 1) states that in relation to education. recognizing and building on their accumulated knowledge and experiences. Furthermore. and responding to their individual and collective needs. more lifelike context that stimulates learners to reflect. However. This implies that teaching style is not simply an accumulation of techniques or interesting mannerisms. and communication of ideas. The effective implementation of learner-centered instructional approaches in classrooms will ask teachers to change the teaching styles they implement in the classroom (Visser. as a point of emphasis it has to be stated that the constructivist approach to teaching and learning does not deny the importance of factual knowledge. namely transmission-reception. application.

chalk-and-talk recitations with the learners recording the information in a manner determined by the teacher. Adaptability to all teaching and learning styles is an important tool that prepares geography teachers for a variety of teaching conditions where they can appeal to and enhance the learning of a greater variety of learners. problem solving. assignments.teacher directly to the learners. inquiry learning. The second model is the behavior-shaping model in which the teacher is perceived as a provider of sequential. Some of the teaching strategies often used in this model are the question-andanswer method. From Figure 1 it is clear that Style A represents the traditional teachercentered approach while Styles B and C are more inclined towards learnercentered instruction. The learner is seen as a social organism and the classroom design and the extended classroom takes this into account. discussions. neat rows. Information is presented through different direct teaching strategies such as lecture presentations. structured learning experiences( to learners in a social group. The teaching style makes allowance for the teacher to be part of the learning process and the typical responsibilities of the teacher are transferred to the learners. In the geography classroom the emphasis is on learners recognizing and applying geographical concepts (Lambert and Balderstone 2003). and simulations. When studying Figure 1 it is clear that communication between the teacher and the learners especially is emphasized in this model. the teacher occupies a dominant position at the ont of the class (Williams 1997). Desks are arranged . role play. demonstrations. case studies. Classroom furniture is arranged to promote learner-learner and teacher-learner interaction. Therefore. Some of the typical teaching strategies and activities in this model include cooperative learning. Last is the interactionist model in which the emphasis is on individual learners and the teacher engaging in inquiring and problem solving in a collaborative manner. Buch and Bartley (2002) state that geography teachers need to adapt their teaching styles and instructional methods to facilitate the learning process by offering a variety of learning opportunities appropriate to different learning styles and to different subject matter and . drill. debates. oral presentations. practice. and the classroom feedback from the learners after the completion of certain assignments.

Pringle. etc. Rodrigues. * enabling teachers to develop and improve teaching skills (communication. and Wilson 2003). As teacher-trainees in many training programs complete their practical teaching with inadequate supervision and little to' no student Ifeedback. the relative merits and economy of microteaching become more and more apparent. the theoretical knowledge that geography teacher-trainees in South Africa gain regarding various teaching styles and learner-centered instruction strategies and methods during their university training is seldom promoted or supported by teachers or mentors who supervise the trainees during practical teaching. Dasari (2006) further states that the teaching styles and strategies implemented by the geography teacher will have tobe continuously revised in that the basic content may be the same but the learner groupings will differ and delivery will have to cater to these differences. Microteaching is a common practice in teacher education that originated in the United States in the 1960s (Grossman 2005) and can provide geography teacher-trainees with hands-on learnercentered teaching experiences.geography lesson outcomes. Unfortunately. and Wilson 2003) and as a bridge that connects theory to practice (Fernandez and Robinson 2006. and . The use of microteaching as part of teacher education is seen as an effective way of assisting on-campus preservice teacher-trainees to learn about and reflect upon effective teaching practice (I'Anson. and implementation of instructional methods and strategies (Gess-Newsome and Lederman 1990). To address this problem. Dawson. and Adams 2003). * introducing preservice teachers to their roles as teachers (Amobi 2005). microteaching is essential to ensure that trainees learn how to implement learner-centered instruction in the classroom. * helping them to see the importance of planning.) (Benton-Kupper 2001). Literature describes the use of microteaching as a beneficial and accepted element of preservice teacher education. public presentation. planning * providing an effective way of assisting preservice teachers to learn about and reflect upon effective practice (I'Anson. Microteaching experiences provide preservice * gaining teachers valuable with experience a with number lesson of (Bell benefits: 2007). Rodrigues. decision making.

She describes detailed feedback as being "supportive" and containing constructive feedback and suggestions that can be used to improve preservice teachers' teaching methods. the implementation of microteaching into the training syllabus enables both the preservice teachers and the trainers to engage in dialogue and discussion centered on making connections between theories of teaching and practical microteaching experiences (Allen and Wang 2008. and presentation of learner-centered instruction in the geography classroom. at the North West University (Potchefstroom campus) can assist geography teacher-trainees with the successful planning.* building practical teaching confidence (Brent. Research on student perceptions regarding the value of microteaching indicates that students themselves find it useful and enriching (Amobi 2005. implementation. Pringle.Ed. and Adams 2003). Wheatley. 412) recommend that "students develop an analytic framework to assess the micro-teaching performances of their peers. Benton-Kupper (2001) emphasizes that feedback to students should be detailed rather than general in nature. (2005. For lecturers of teacher-trainees. Benton-Kupper 2001). Darling-Hammond et al. RESEARCH The purpose OBJECTIVES of this study AND was to METHODS determine: * The perceptions and attitudes of geography teacher-trainees regarding the implementation of microteaching in their training program * The perceptions of geography teacher-trainees regarding the use of microteaching to assist them in the implementation of learner-centered instructional strategies and styles * The aspects of microteaching that play an important role in assisting trainees in the implementation of learner-centered instruction in their geography ." The critical examination or assessment of teacher-trainees' lesson presentations during microteaching correspond with Lim and Chan's (2007. Dawson.476) view that "to critically examine or reflect on the strengths and limitations of each approach may restructure trainees' existing beliefs and encourage them to adopt new instructional practices that are consistent with their pedagogical beliefs." The question remains whether microteaching in the training model of B. and Thomson 1996).

methods. INSTRUCTIONAL PROCEDURES In the geography methodology module for the fourth-year B.Ed. The trainees have nine contact sessions of fifty minutes each per semester. In the theoretical studies the focus is on the different teaching and learning theories.classes * The influence of microteaching sessions in assisting teacher-trainees in the planning. embedded in the socioconstructivist approach (c.Ed. designing. namely the North-West University. Twenty-four fourth-year B. The trainees also have to plan and design learner-centered instructional lessons. Geography teacher-trainees took part in the study. The purpose of the microteaching sessions is mainly to demonstrate an ability to integrate content. as well as assessment strategies and methods in geography education. teachertrainees. and teaching aids. strategies. The microteaching sessions applicable to this study are implemented in the fourth year of training: This article reports on work conducted in 2008. methodology.Ed. the trainees perform six weeks of practical teaching at schools and in the fourth academic year the practical teaching increases to eight weeks. senior (grades 7-9) and further education and training (FET) (grades 10-12). The university offers a four-year B. and pedagogy as covered in the National Curriculum Statements (NCS) for geography. During the first three years of training. degree that prepares candidates to teach in one of the following educational phases: intermediate (grades 4-6). During the first three years the geography teacher-trainees take academic modules and in their fourth year two geography methodology modules. and facilitation of learner-centered instruction in geography classrooms CONTEXT OF THE STUDY The study was conducted in a teacher education program of a university in the North West Province in South Africa. Jonassen 1999) as part of their training. there are three scheduled contact sessions per week.f. During the microteaching period it is expected of the trainees to present at least one microlesson (ten to . Two sessions are used for theoretical studies and one contact session for microteaching.

posters. the trainees had to submit a written reflective report (c. The presenter' of the lesson was afforded the opportunity to defend his/her instructional approach. give constructive commentary. which was then presented to the class during the scheduled microlesson. with the assistance of the other three group members. After the lesson presentation every trainee was required to submit a copy of his/her microlesson planning and design. The trainee. the main focus of the microlessons is to ensure the implementation of learner-centered instructional strategies and activities that actively involve the students in the learning process and promote communication and collaboration among learners in the class. . fellow trainees and the lecturer analyze the lesson. The same assessment form used by lecturers to assess trainees' lesson presentations during practical teaching was used to assess performance during the microlessons. Teachertrainees are therefore expected to make use of teaching aids such as PowerPoint presentations. projector. and critique. and lesson activities as applied during the microlesson. worksheets. They were instructed to select themes for the microteaching sessions as prescribed in the NCS for geography teaching according to the specific phase (intermediate. as well as suggestions regarding how to present a more learner-centered lesson. and models. style. However.twelve minutes) per semester. To ensure that all students were attentive and participated in the discussion. complete with a blackboard. The group members acted as learners during the microlesson presentations. had to plan and design a learner-centered instructional microlesson for a specific phase. senior. Fernandez and Chokshi 2002) of each fellow trainee's microlesson presentation with the emphasis on strengths and weaknesses in the implementation of learner-centered instruction in that specific lesson. transparencies. Directly after each presentation. The lecturer was mainly responsible for the facilitation of the discussion among class members in the analysis of the presentation. Two or three trainees each present a lesson per session. or FET) they were registered to teach. including the prescribed critical-. The lecture hall used for the presentation of the microteaching sessions is designed and organized like a normal classroom. The teacher-trainees were divided into groups of four. and computer with access to PowerPoint and Internet.f.

* analysis and comparison of the teacher-trainees' (n = 8) written planning and designed learning experiences (n = 8) before and after the microteaching sessions. DATA COLLECTION METHODS AND ANALYSIS A mixed-method approach that involved collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data was used (Cresswell 2003). He compared two geography lesson plans submitted by each participating trainee during their practical teaching weeks in 2007 (before the trainees' exposure to the microteaching sessions) and two lesson plans each submitted by those same trainees during practical teaching in 2008 (after exposure to and participating in the microteaching sessions). In the analysis the researcher focused on the difference in lesson presentations. At the beginning of the semester most of the participants (n = 13) were positive regarding the .learning-. The lesson presentations and written lesson planning were used to compile an assessment mark. * structured interviews with a number of teacher-trainees (n = 8). as participants in the study. Of the final participation mark for the semester. The researcher employed the following qualitative and quantitative data collection methods: * questionnaires completed by the geography teacher-trainees (n = 24) at the end of the microteaching period. complete a questionnaire in order to determine their perceptions and attitudes regarding their impending microteaching participation. and lesson-outcomes. For this specific purpose the researcher analyzed the compiled teaching portfolios of the participating trainees. the microlesson mark contributed 20 percent. FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION Perceptions and Attitudes of Geography Teacher Trainees Regarding Microteaching With the implementation of the microteaching sessions the researcher requested that the geography teacher-trainees. regarding learner-centered instruction before and after exposure to microteaching as part of the teachers' training. if any. as well as the learning activities and assessment strategies and methods. These documents were analyzed by the lecturer and constructive written feedback was prepared and provided to each student.

most of the negative attitudes and perceptions of the trainees evaporated. trainees were more familiar with the presentation of . they were nervous regarding the unrealistic and unfamiliar setting for the microlessons. and they indicated that the expected learner-centered instructional approach was challenging regarding the new expectations from lecturers with regard to planning and presentation of learning activities. (Respondent A) The above-mentioned reasons for respondents' negativity compares favorably with those presented by Bell (2007). By this time twenty-one of the participants were positive to very positive regarding the presentation of microlessons and only three still harbored negative feelings. nine weeks after first implementing microteaching. We were literally pulled from our comfort zone by the expectations posed by this new teaching approach. This changing role of the teacher was initially perceived as negative--most of them had a natural resistance to change. Most of the respondents emphasized the fact that a learner-centered instructional approach required more from them than the traditional teacher-centered instructional approach. The questionnaire and the interviews produced the following as the main reasons for the initial negativity: the trainees were of the opinion that they had had enough practical experience after three years of practical teaching in schools. During the interview one of the respondents stated: I was extremely negative regarding microteaching since I did not want to expose myself to the criticisms of my fellow-students or my lecturer. The main reasons for the respondents change-of-heart as indicated in the questionnaires and the interviews were the following: the perceived value of the microlessons with regard to the planning and design of learner-centered instruction. New challenges were presented with the planning and presentation of the micro-lessons that required of me to spend much more time on my planning and design of lessons. they were nervous to present lessons in front of fellow-students.microteaching while the others (n = 11) were moderately to very negative regarding microteaching. By the end of the first semester. As correctly stated by Bolhuis and Voeten (2004) the teachers' conceptions of learning deviated from the new ideas of learning that underlie the innovation.

The following respondent summarized these findings during his interview: Micro-lessons are a MUST! The microlessons provided me with more experience in the implementation of learner-centered instruction than all my practical teaching experience over the past 3 years. and the trainees realized that the feedback from fellow-students and the lecturer was constructive in nature and that they were learning from one another. From Table 1 it is evident that respondents are of the opinion that they mainly focused on teacher-centered instruction in the classroom (66%) before they . the trainees realized the value therein themselves. You also get the chance to apply your theoretical knowledge in practice. As a student you are exposed to new ideas for your own lesson presentations by watching and analysing your fellow-students' lessons. Most of the respondents (n = 23) agreed that the microlesson presentations and assessment by fellow-students definitely contributed towards the effective implementation of learner-centered instructional approaches in the classroom. The average response percent of all the respondents is indicated in Table 1. Respondents had to indicate how many times on average either a teacher-centered or a learner-centered instructional approach was evident in their lesson presentations before and after the completion of the microteaching sessions.learner-centered microlessons. After being exposed to microteaching for only nine weeks. I am now of the opinion that the presentation of only one micro-lesson per semester is not enough. (Respondent C) These positive perceptions from trainees regarding microteaching are confirmed by the research of Amobi (2005) and Benton-Kupper (2001). INSTRUCTIONAL APPROACHES The questionnaire requested respondents to indicate whether they were of the opinion that the planning and presentation of microlessons contributed towards a greater emphasis on learner-centered instruction in their lesson presentations. The respondents then had to indicate to what extent microteaching influenced the implementation of certain teaching approaches. Micro-teaching should be implemented from your first or second year of training.

There are now more opportunities for learners. It is as if the students realised the importance of involving the learners in this learning process. but as a natural part of their lessonpresentation. first during the initial microteaching sessions and then by the end of the semester after they had become more familiar with microteaching. These findings correlated with the research findings of I'Anson. and Wilson (2003) and Klinzing (2002) which highlighted that microteaching was an effective way of helping preservice teachers learn about and reflect upon effective practice. TEACHING AND LEARNING STYLES Respondents were requested to indicate to what extent microteaching influenced the teaching styles they implemented in the geography classroom during every microlesson. An interesting remark by one of the respondents is worth mentioning: What I find note worthy is that the microlessons presented by students by the end of the semester succeeded in effectively involving the learners in the learning process. For this purpose the respondents were referred to the three teaching and learning styles described by Tolley and Reynolds (quoted by Lambert and Balderstone 2003). The microlessons definitely contributed towards a shift in emphasis towards more learner-centered instructional approaches (70.8%) in their lesson presentations. not as just an add-on to keep the lecturer and fellow-students happy. Respondents had to specifically indicate the frequency of usage of each style during a lesson. The following remark by a respondent supports these findings: Most of the trainees used much less explanation and demonstration of learning content to learners after they were exposed to micro-teaching. Rodrigues. (Respondent G) Thus it is evident that the respondents agreed that participation in microteaching contributed towards their implementation of learner-centered instructional approaches in the classroom. . individually or in groups. to explore learning content themselves (Respondent E).were exposed to microteaching.

When you observe and assess fellow-students during their lesson presentations. (Respondent B) Another respondent said the following: During some of the presentations I became angry at my fellow-students when they still applied the traditional direct instructional approach--feeding the learners the facts! In these instances I immediately began thinking of ways to do the same in a totally different manner--actively involving the learners in the teaching process. you are exposed to new ideas regarding teaching styles and strategies that you can later apply in your own teaching. For students to change their perceptions regarding the implementation of different teaching .Most of the respondents (n = 21) were of the opinion that they mostly implemented the transmission reception model during the initial microlessons. The sessions made it possible to actually apply theory in classroom practice. on the creation of a cooperative learning environment. Learners were actively involved with their own education and participated in the assessment of learning activities. These findings were further confirmed during the interviews. During planning and presentation of the microlesson you are challenged to think out of the box and to actively involve the learners in the learning process and to allow them to learn from one another within their groups. and group work. The following answer of one of the respondents serves as an example: The micro-teaching sessions definitely influenced my choice of teaching strategies and styles implemented during my lessons. This is indicated in Table 2 with an initial average percentage of 59 percent in favor of this teaching model. By the end of the semester most of the respondents (n = 23) were implementing the interactionist teaching model (average of 53%). Their lesson planning and presentation focused more on discussions among learners and involvement in learning activities and content. (Respondent E) These commentaries indicate that the microlessons also developed the trainees' ability to critically analyze one another's presentations. whereas only 13 percent was dedicated to the use of the interactionist model.

The feedback from fellowstudents and my lecturer directly influenced the type of ideas I accumulated for my next lesson presentation. it is of critical importance that they "develop an analytic framework to assess their peers' microteaching performance" (DarlingHammond et al. ASPECTS OF MICROTEACHING OF THAT ASSISTED WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION LEARNER-CENTERED INSTRUCTION The questionnaire listed various aspects of microteaching (Table 3) and respondents were requested to indicate the extent of the influence of every aspect on their perceptions and beliefs regarding the implementation of learnercentered instruction. as well as my own reflections after my lesson presentations. The contributions of my fellow-students and lecturer.13). In Table 3 those aspects of microteaching with the highest influence on the perceptions and beliefs of the respondents regarding the-implementation of learner-centered instruction are indicated as follows: the lecturer's oral commentary and constructive criticisms regarding lesson presentations (n = 15). the written feedback from the lecturer regarding lesson planning (n = 12). 412). (Respondent F) Feedback and constructive criticism from the lecturer and fellow-students as well as fellow-students' assessment of the microlesson presentations were .styles in the classroom. We discussed everything and argued on important matters. The following are some of the responses from the interviews: The assessment of and constructive feedback to fellow-students after their lesson presentations were of great value to me. the presentation of microlessons to fellow-students (n . were where valuable ideas were exchanged. The last-mentioned aspect was specifically emphasized during the interviews. the assessment of the lesson presentations of fellow-students (n = 12). 2005. The use of different learnercentered instructional strategies by fellow-students contributed to my own creativity in my lesson planning. and the commentary and constructive feedback from fellow-students regarding their lesson presentations (n = 10). (Respondent C) In the micro-teaching sessions I was encouraged to rise to the challenge within a safe learning environment wherein it was OK to make mistakes.

The completion of worksheets (22." This enables preservice teachers to reflect on their microteaching experiences leading to subsequent teaching behaviors. The design and planning of the teaching-learning activities for the geography lessons presented during 2007 and 2008 were compared to determine whether the implementation of the microteaching sessions influenced the focus on learner-centered activities (Table 4). four geography lessons as presented during practical teaching during 2007 and 2008 were analyzed--two lessons presented before exposure to the microteaching sessions (2007) and two lesson presentations after the trainees participated in microteaching (2008). change in self-perceptions and From Table 4 it is evident that the respondents placed greater emphasis on learner-centered teaching-learning activities in their lesson planning after participation in the microteaching sessions (2008). the respondents mainly focused on the explanation and demonstration of content (34. In the literature review some of the studies also highlighted the importance of reflection to help change perspectives of students.8%) was used to determine whether the learners understood the learning content and assessments of teaching-learning activities . According to Amobi (2005. TEACHING AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES DURING PRACTICAL TEACHING Although most of the teacher-trainees were of the opinion that the microteaching sessions were a great incentive to assist them with the implementation of learner-centered instruction in the classroom. During practical teaching before participation in the microteaching sessions (2007). the question remains whether these students also applied this approach in practice.2%) as well as questioning of learners (15. In Table 4 the number of learner activities as presented by the trainees during their practical teaching lessons during 2007 and 2008 are indicated.7%) during their lesson presentations. 116) and Benton-Kupper (2001) feedback serves as the "content for and quality of reflection. To determine whether this was the case. For the purpose of this section of the study. the respondents (n = 8) with whom interviews were conducted were requested to submit their practical teaching journals.highlighted as aspects that were mostly responsible for the trainees' changed perceptions regarding the implementation of learner-centered instructional approaches.

These results support the perceptions of respondents regarding the shift in their focus from teacher-centered to learner-centered instruction and learner-styles after their participation in microteaching sessions. role play. CONCLUSION The teacher-trainees perceived microteaching as a worthwhile and beneficial learning experience. It also gave students the opportunity to make thoughtful judgments on their own and fellow-students' lesson presentations and help them to develop their teaching .8%). and completion of worksheets (18%) were still implemented. These activities support the perception of the trainees regarding the use of teacher-centered instructional strategies and styles before they learned how to implement learner-centered instruction during the microteaching sessions.5%). The trainees' lesson planning after participation in microteaching in 2008 indicated clearly that they developed and implemented a greater variety of individual and cooperative teaching-learning activities during practical teaching. Microteaching also gives the trainees a platform where they can practice different instructional strategies and skills. in a controlled and safe learning environment. the learner-centered activities such -as discussion of themes in cooperative learning environments and groups (18%). combined with the examples set by fellow-students. research projects. etc. Furthermore.4%). took precedence over the first-mentioned activities (Table 4). helped to change trainees' perceptions on the value of learner-centered instruction. The types of teaching-learning activities indicate that the trainees were mainly focused on the use of the transmission-reception model and to a lesser extent the behavior-shaping model regarding their teaching styles (also see Table 2). This study definitely indicates the great potential of microteaching in assisting preservice geography teacher-trainees with the implementation of learner-centered instruction in classrooms. such as the implementation of learner-centered instruction. the teacher-trainees made use of different assessment agents to gauge learners' assignments and activities. feedback by learners (4. Although teacher-centered activities such as explanation and demonstration of content (14.were mainly led by the teacher him/herself (87%). The focused feedback and encouragement. building of models. as well as individual teaching-learning activities such as the design of posters. questioning (8.

By the End of the Initial Microteaching Semester Microlessons Teaching and Learning Styles Sessions (Average % ) (Average % ) During Transmission reception model Behavior-shaping model Interactionist model 59% 28% 13% 18% 29% 53% . ADDED MATERIAL Dr. Finally.2% 70.4% Table 2.abilities. In addition the study also indicates that microteaching assists trainees to bridge the important gap between theory and practice. they were not all equally competent.and learner-centered instructional approaches. South Africa. Aubrey Golightly is a lecturer in the faculty of education at the North-West University. Although by the end of the semester most.8% (Average % ) 66. Before Microteaching Instructional Approach Teacher-centered Learner-centered After Microteaching (Average % ) 29. evidence from this research indicates that the microteaching process in a South African context is effective in providing an alternative way of helping trainees to develop learner-centered instructional strategies in classrooms. Table 1. if not all. Respondents' perceptions regarding the implementation of teaching and learning styles during microlessons. The influence of microteaching on respondents' perceptions regarding the implementation of teacher.6% 33. Potchefstroom Campus. of the trainees implemented learner-centered instruction during their microlesson presentations. Most important is their willingness to implement learner-centered instructional approaches in their lesson presentations because of the changed perceptions regarding the value thereof to the learners. Many of the trainees still need a lot of practice in learner-centered instruction.

The written commentary from my lecturer regarding my written 10 12 0 2 lesson planning and design. The oral commentary and constructive feedback from my 9 15 Geography lecturer after my lesson presentations. The presentation of learner-centered microlessons by my 8 13 0 3 1 8 fellow-students.Table 3. The written planning and design of learner-centered instruction 6 9 during microlessons. and advice from group members regarding 9 6 5 4 the planning of my microlesson. Aspects of Microteaching Some Influence Great Influence The prescribed learning content in the Education modules 16 3 0 5 No Influence Little Influence regarding learner-centered instructional approaches. The prescribed learning material in Geography subject didactics 14 4 0 6 that I studied before all my lesson presentations. Assistance. The written reflective report from every student regarding the 12 6 1 5 . support. Aspects of microteaching that contributed towards the implementation of learner-centered instruction by the respondents (n = 24). The assessment of the microlesson presentations of my 10 12 0 2 fellow-students on the prescribed assessment forms. The commentary and constructive feedback from my 12 10 1 1 0 0 fellow-students after my lesson presentations.

4% ) completion of word puzzles (2. Number of Teaching-Learning of Teaching-Learning Types of Teaching-Learning Activities Activities (2008) Explanation and demonstration of content by teacher 12 (14.4% ) mind maps ) building of models (3.0% ) fieldwork outside the classroom (2.8% ) 2 (2.4% ) 8 (11.6% ) design posters ) 4 (4.5% ) Questioning by teacher 7 (8.8% 2 2 16 (22.8% ) 3 4 (4.microlessons of the other students.8% 2 (2. Table 4. Teaching-learning activities for geography lessons during practical teaching.4% ) Learners participate in class discussions 8 (9.7% ) 24 (34.8% ) 4 (4.4% ) 11 (15.8% 5 (7.2% ) Activities (2007) Number .6% ) Teacher reads from the textbook Discussion of themes in a cooperative learning environment and ) 15 (18% ) group discussions Reports and feedback from learners during the lesson Individual learning activities for the learners: completion of worksheets and/or questions in textbook 15 (18.

England. As experienced during the implementation of OBE in South African schools. it is necessary to point out that OBE was also implemented with mixed success in countries like the United States.2% ) educational games (2.5% ) 11 - 3 31 (100% ) 40 Figure 1. Australia.4% ) role play research projects (2.4% ) 2 70 (100% ) 83 27 (87.6% ) 1 (1. for example.5% ) assessment by peers (7. In the United States.4% ) Total (100% ) The assessment agent of the teaching-learning activities: teacher (facilitator) assessment 18 (45% ) self-assessment (15% ) pair-assessment ) group-assessment (27.5% ) Total (100% ) - - 1 - 2 3 (3. [Graph or Chart Omitted] NOTE 1. OBE was replaced with standard based learning after only a few years because of various . Teaching styles of geography teacher-trainees and Tolley and Reynolds.5% ) 6 2 (5% 2 (6. and New Zealand.classroom debates (1. cited in Lambert and Balderstone 2003).0% ) 2 (6. where it was reviewed or replaced.

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